Prep Football: Keokuk’s New Head Coach Marvin McNutt is Aiming for the Moon

(Photo Courtesy of Keokuk’s Marketing Specialist Jessica Martin)

Keokuk, IA- It is not often that a former NFL player is hired to be the head coach of a high school football team; it is beyond rare that a former NFL player seeks out an opening at a high school, but Keokuk was the beneficiary of this seldom seen move.

Zach Summers, the Athletic and Activities Director, was the one to reveal the news that Marvin McNutt had been the one to pick Keokuk and understood the team,

“…And he knows our kids by name.”

When the inevitable question popped up of “why Keokuk?” new head coach McNutt had a simple answer,

“…One of my favorite quarterbacks is from here, James Vandenberg,” said McNutt. “I also recruited from here for Coe [College], these kids are special and so is this area.”

McNutt was an All-State athlete in football, baseball, and basketball at Hazelwood Central High School before joining the Iowa Hawkeyes football program. He was a team captain in 2011 and a part of Kirk Ferentz’s Leadership committee from 2007-2011.

With the help of Vandenberg, McNutt ended his collegiate career as the all-time leader in receiving touchdowns and yardage, single season and career, before becoming the 194th pick in the NFL draft for the Philadelphia Eagles. He bounced around the league for three seasons before becoming a head coach for the Cedar Rapids Titans in Indoor Football League in 2017.

After serving as the general manager in 2018, McNutt moved on to become the wide receiver coach at Coe College until 2022. He coached two All-Conference receivers in his first two seasons.

(Photo Courtesy of Keokuk’s Marketing Specialist Jessica Martin)

He talked with the varsity, junior varsity, and middle school football players that attended the press conference afterwards as his goal for this program is a State Championship,

“I’m not going to just coach you like high school or college players, I’m going to coach you for the NFL.”

McNutt ended his press conference with this last note,

“…Let’s see where we can take this program, we will shoot for the moon and land next to the stars.”

The Chiefs finished last season with a 4-5 record as they have collected just three winning seasons over the past 16 seasons. Keokuk will start the season on the road against Ottumwa on August 30th at 7:30 pm.